New Orleans Dining

New Orleans is a gourmand's delight, offering sumptuous cuisine and one-of-a-kind recipes dreamed up by world-renowned chefs. The food isn't the only attraction. Restaurants in the Crescent City offer a low-country ambiance that can't be found anywhere else. As an added bonus, many restaurants throw in some toe-tapping, foot-stomping Cajun music along with the delicious food. Here are some restaurants that are not to be missed:

K. Paul's Louisiana Kitchen
K. Paul' Louisiana Kitchen is the home of world-famous chef Paul Prudhomme. Each dish at K. Paul's has that indescribable complexity and sophistication that separates everyday fare from that created by a top chef. The menu ranges from the classic Cajun staple, Crawfish Etouffee, to unique concoctions like Eggplant Pirogue with Seafood Atchafalaya. Both floors of K.Paul's feature an open kitchen where guests can watch chefs at work preparing Prudhomme's recipes.

Emeril's
Emeril's New Orleans is star chef Emeril's Lagasse's flagship restaurant. This high-end restaurant was created from a converted warehouse, and the result is a beautifully designed, high-ceiling expanse, outfitted with rich wood furnishings.

The menu is pure originality. If you don't believe anyone could successfully combine fried chicken with waffles or trout with a barbecue glaze, you haven't experienced Emeril's. There are also unusual entrees like Warm Mississippi Rabbit Remoulade. If you love pies, don't miss Emeril's to-die-for, inches-tall banana cream pie. For a less expensive taste of Emeril Lagasse's fare, try NOLA, a newer restaurant by the famous chef.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
If you like your food served in a tropical, beach-bum atmosphere, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is your hangout. Margaritaville is a restaurant chain scattered throughout the western hemisphere, but each café is so one-of-a kind that they're all worth visiting.

The menu features inexpensive, casual entrees. There's a wide assortment of seafood, Mexican food, sandwiches and, of course, the famous Cheeseburger in Paradise.

The décor offers a new surprise around every corner. The ground floor features an airplane protruding from the wall, and in the second-floor bar, patrons swing from tire swings suspended from the ceiling. If you're in the mood for dining al fresco, try the balcony on the second floor.

Mulate's
Mulate's is a Cajun restaurant, music hall and dance floor rolled into one. Don't miss the grilled or fried alligator. It tastes a bit like chicken, but you can't leave bayou country without eating some gator.

Mulate's is famous for its Cajun music and dancing. If you don't know how to dance Cajun style, that's no problem. There are some older gentlemen there who will volunteer to demonstrate the moves.